HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - International Water Safety Day is a worldwide effort designed to spread global awareness about drowning prevention, and is specifically geared towards educating youth about beings after in and around the water. This is critical here in Hawaii because we are surrounded by water and summer is just around the corner. Families are going to be spending more time around the pool and at the beach, so we want people to know how they can be more water safe.
One of the most effective ways to help prevent drownings is by enrolling in swimming lessons. Swimming lessons save lives. Enrolling children in formal swimming lessons is the best way to prevent drownings. Research shows participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent among children aged 1-4, yet many children don’t receive formal training.
Other important tips include: Swimming at a beach or pool with a lifeguard, checking weather and ocean conditions before hitting the water, or if you’re on a boat, wear a life jacket.
Water wings are actually very dangerous and no one in the professional aquatic industry has recognized them as safe. Wearing floaties or water wings puts a young person in a vertical position, which is more taxing on the body and isn’t the proper position for swimming. It also creates a false sense of security for both parents and children.
At Leahi, kickboards and barbells are used to help teach children balance and swim skills in the water. These are great tools but should never be by a child on their own without supervision. Kids life jackets are relly only recommended while on a boat or doing open ocean activities. There are a lot of options out there but just make sure that it is fitted properly. These are meant to be a last resort and are not meant to aid in teaching swim skills.
Always keep an eye on children in the water. If you’re at a party or gathering, designate one person to be on watch and rotate every 15 or 20 minutes so that everyone has a chance to enjoy the festivities while ensuring someone is watching the pool/water at all times. There’s no way to drown-proof our children. Again, enrolling in formal swimming lessons is the best way to prevent drownings.
At Leahi, we teach people of all ages how to swim, as young as 6 months old with the assistance of a parent or grandparent. At age 3, families are welcome to enroll children in group or private lessons, and we also have an adult swim program. The summer session starts on June 1 and we’ll be open 7 days a week. This summer, a third location will be opening at La Pietra - School for Girls in Waikiki.
To sign up for lessons and learn more, you can visit us online at www.leahiswimschool.com or call (808) 234-SWIM (7946)